FAMU Press Release:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Florida A&M University (FAMU) Strikers have been selected to perform in the Walt Disney World Annual Christmas Day Parade scheduled to air on ABC on Christmas day, reaching 16 million viewers worldwide.
The dance troupe will perform with one of Disney’s artist, Steve Rushton, along with youth dancers from all over the world between the ages of 7 and 15-years-old.
The Strikers will also be featured in the opening performance with the Jonas Brothers, 2008 American Music Award winners and 2009 Grammy nominee for best new artist.
During the Strikers special step performance, host Kelly Ripa will introduce the troop.
“This is overwhelming,” said Brandon Cenningham, 21, a fourth year member of Strikers and a business administration student from West Palm Beach, Fla. “It’s my first nationally televised performance outside of the Marching “100.”
The 16 members of Strikers were contacted a month prior to departing for their fully funded three day trip to Orlando, where they met with Disney’s choreographer who trained the dance troop on step dancing.
“It’s a good opportunity for the university to receive positive exposure,” said Sheprio Hardemon, founder of the Strikers.
Hardemon was contacted by Disney’s representatives requesting the troupe to perform in the 2009 parade.
However, the Strikers are no strangers to the spotlight. The troupe was recently featured on MTV America’s Best Dance Crew as well as BET’s 106 and Park and Apollo Theater.
The group has been invited back to perform for Disney in February 2010 during the Steve Harvey Dreamers Academy, which will incorporate a combination of dance and theater performances. They were also invited back in September 2010 for the Disney Step Show.